Category Archives for "Bodybuilding"

Squat Every Day Cures All Ailments

For an awesome tool to quantify weaknesses, fix those weaknesses, control common aches and pains, and all things recover, check out our new book “No Weaknesses. Check it out here:

The Brand New Mash Elite E-Book: “No Weaknesses”

Check out the “Mash Squat Every Day” E-Book with 4 twelve-week programs for weightlifting, powerlifting, super total, and bodybuilding. Find out more below:

>>>Mash Squat Every Day<<<

Squat Every Day Cures All Ailments

Lu Squat

This is the article that I wrote over one year ago. I thought that you guys might want to check it out again. There were some pretty cool results. Enjoy!

Eleven Weeks ago from the day that I am writing this, I embarked upon my #SquatEveryDay Journey. Cory Gregory, Co-Founder of MusclePharm, inspired me to give it a try. Up until this point, I had steered clear of all high frequency squat programs. However, Cory Gregory inspired me on many fronts. Cory was a coal miner before becoming the fitness icon that he is today. He used his savings from his time in the mines to start his first gym. From that moment on, Cory used the same blue-collar work ethic learned in the mines to work his way to the top of the fitness world.

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My Grandfather retired from the Coal Mines of West Virginia, so right away I felt a connection to Cory. His family is hard working and strong just like mine, so right away there was a trust established. It is hard to explain this type of trust. Let me explain!

I watched my Grandfather and Father leave the house well before the sun ever shed a grain of light. I also watched them come home after dark with hands and feet bleeding from their daily work. They never complained. They were just happy to provide for their families. They didn’t want anything given to them from anyone. They just wanted outwork everyone around them to provide a better life for their family than they had experienced growing up. They did just that, and still found time to love their families. That’s my image of a real man!

Cory’s story of his own family was much like my own, and all I can say is that I felt connected. It takes a lot for me to trust someone with my training or programming, but he had earned that right. I trusted him, so I decided to give the Squat Every Day a try.

My friend and peer Coach John Broz inspired Cory to try the Squat Every Day Program. Broz has been preaching squat every day for years, and all of his athletes have made major improvements with his Bulgarian Methods. There belief is that to get better at a movement one needs to practice the movement every day. Kinda makes sense!

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I will be honest here in saying that I had low expectations going into the program. Remember I have been a world record holder in the squat, so I wasn’t expecting a program to have a major impact on my ability to squat. However, in the second week I was noticing major changes. In the eleven weeks that I have used the Squat Every Day Program I have experienced PRs every single week. That’s not common at all especially at 42-years-old.

Cory put his own spin on the program using the Conjugate Method from Westside Barbell. Cory is a Louie Simmons fan just like me, and he has used the Westside Methods to hit some respectable numbers in the powerlifting world. Conjugate is simply a fancy word for change. The body will sometime plateau when an athlete performs the same movement everyday. If you slightly vary that same movement, then it is perceived as a new movement forcing the body to get stronger and adapt to the new stimulus. Cory has used pauses, bands, chains, and even specialty bars to vary the lifts. I love this concept.

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So far, I have only used the Back Squat and the Front Squat with pauses from 1 to 5 seconds in the bottom. I have used a rep scheme from 1-2 reps in the max set, and 3-5 reps in the down sets. Look at all the variations that one can form from these slight variations:

Back Squat
Paused 1 sec for 1 rep
Paused 2 sec for 1 rep
Paused 3 sec for 1 rep
Paused 4 sec for 1 rep
Paused 5 sec for 1 rep
Not Paused for 1 rep
Paused 1 sec for 2 rep
Paused 2 sec for 2 rep
Paused 3 sec for 2 rep
Paused 4 sec for 2 rep
Paused 5 sec for 2 rep
Not Paused for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 1 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 2 sec for 2 rep
1st rep onlyPaused 3 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 4 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 5 sec for 2 rep

Front Squat
Paused 1 sec for 1 rep
Paused 2 sec for 1 rep
Paused 3 sec for 1 rep
Paused 4 sec for 1 rep
Paused 5 sec for 1 rep
Not Paused for 1 rep
Paused 1 sec for 2 rep
Paused 2 sec for 2 rep
Paused 3 sec for 2 rep
Paused 4 sec for 2 rep
Paused 5 sec for 2 rep
Not Paused for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 1 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 2 sec for 2 rep
1st rep onlyPaused 3 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 4 sec for 2 rep
1st rep only Paused 5 sec for 2 rep

From just the Back Squat and Front Squat you can get 34 variations from the pauses and the two different rep schemes. This doesn’t even take into consideration the volume manipulations that one can form from varying the down sets. Normally I try to increase volume for 3 weeks, and then deload volume on the fourth week while maintaining intensity. Slowly increasing volume over the months and years of training is another necessity for increasing strength. Increased workload forces the body to adapt and become stronger.

I have used the Squat Every Day Program to formulate Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and a Powerlifting/Weightlifting Combo that I am using to prepare for a Super Total Meet in November. Super Total simply means the competition of the Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squat, Press, and Deadlift, or as I call it, the Big 5! I have successfully taken all five lifts higher than they have been for over 12 years. I’ll call it the fountain of youth. At 42-years-old competing in five events makes training more exciting, but controlling the volume becomes tricky. The key is to push the body’s threshold without crushing the immune system. Believe me, I am pushing that threshold.

So far, here are the PRs that I have set in the last 11 weeks:

Snatch 135k/297lb up from 115k/253lb
Clean & Jerk 166k/365lb up from 150k/330lb
Clean 170k/374lb up from 150k/330lb
Jerk from Blocks 182k/400lb up from 160k/352lb
High Bar Back Squat no wraps 285k/627lb up from 250k/550lb
Bench Press 400lb up from 315lb
Deadlift 700lb up from 630lb
Front Squat 242k/532lb up from 205k/451lb
Paused Front Squat 230k/506lb up from 190k/418lb

I have also developed a Squat Every Day Program for Bodybuilding. If you are that guy or gal that can’t seem to get the wheels to grow, this program is for you. Not to mention that we all know that heavy squats are great for the endocrine system. There is not other lift on the planet better for spiking natural growth hormone and testosterone levels than the almighty squat.

The last eleven weeks I have spent most of my time researching all about the program and talking to the experts like John Broz and Cory. I have also unleashed the program on my athletes with phenomenal results. I have found that newer athletes need a little more volume, so I am using the repetition method with them. Rookies need more of a base. We still squat every day, but I am using a higher rep scheme on some days.

I am just excited to bring all of these detailed plans to all of my readers. There is nothing better than passing on information, and helping people reach their goals. Cory did it for me, and now I am doing it for you.

Here is the way Super Total Squat Every Day Plan looks now:

Week 1-4
Day 1 Week 1
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations 2 Snatch Grip Push Presses & 1 OH Squat work up to 75% of Snatch
Front Squat Paused 3 sec no belt Max, then -20% for 3 not paused
Snatch Start at 70% 8 sets x 1 rep working up heavy but no misses
Bench Press Paused 3 sec Work up to a max, then -20% for 3
Upper Muscular Imbalance Work 1

Conditioning
200M Lunges BW Only

Day 2
Front Squat Paused 3 sec with Belt max
Clean & Jerk Start at 70% 8 sets x 1 rep working up heavy but no misses
Snatch Pulls 95% for 3×3 with a 6 sec eccentric
Core Muscular Imbalance 1 This is normally a carry
Optional Cardio, GPP, HIIT

Day 3
High Bar Back Squat Paused 3 sec with Belt Max, then -20% for 3 no pause
Jerk from Block work Paused 3 sec in dip and catch 1RM, then -20% for 2×2
Bench Press Pause all Reps Start at 60% 8 sets x 3 rep working up heavy but no misses
Deadlift EMOMs Paused 2 sec 2 inches off Floor 70% 6×1 work up but not past 90%
Upper Muscular Imbalance 2

Day 4
Warm Up with OH Squat Variations Work up to 70% for 3 reps with 1st rep paused 5 sec
Front Squat with Belt no pause Max
Snatch Max Effort Snatch to Hang Snatch Max, then -10% for one down set
Optional Cardio, GPP, HIIT

Day 5
Low or High Bar Back Squat no pause with Belt Max
Clean & Jerk Max Effort Clean, 2 Front Squats, and Jerk Max, then -15% for 1 down set
Clean Pulls 95% 3×3
Core Muscular Imbalance 2

Day 6
OH Squat Variation Max Effort 1RM with 5 sec pause, then -20% for 3 reps not paused
Bench Max Effort 3RM 3 Board, then work up to 90% of Max Bench to Chest for 1 pause
Deadlift Max Effort 5RM from Blocks with Bar at Knees
RDLs 3×8
Lower Muscular Imbalance

Lunges 200-400m

Day 7 Optional Day
Thruster or Cluster 3RM, then -15% for 3
Optional Cardio, GPP, HIIT
Mobility

This will give you an idea of what the full plans will look like. This is just week 1. My detailed plans will explain the muscular balance work, mobility, recovery, general physical preparedness, and much more. The full versions will be out in November, so make sure that you are signed up for the Newsletter list to receive notification that the completed versions are out.

Please ask any and all questions in the comments section. I will answer all questions. Thanks for reading and enjoy squatting every day!

Guys and gals, if you want a tool that will help you along your fitness path, I would be honored if you checked out the brand new “No Weaknesses” E-Book. For more information, click on the link below:

The Mash Elite “No Weaknesses” E-Book

No_Weaknesses-01

Bullet Proofing with No Weaknesses

Bullet Proofing with No Weaknesses

Well I am excited to announce that today we are launching our latest book “No Weaknesses” to the world. This book has taken our team over one year to finish because I wanted to deliver the perfect bulletproofing tool to all of you. I believe that’s exactly what we’ve done.

However this article isn’t going to be one massive plug for the book. I can’t do that. My writing has always been and always will be all about you the reader, so we are going to talk about the keys to balancing and stabilizing (bulletproofing) your body. I want all of you to have a lifetime of fitness, PRs, and fun in the gym. Over the last 32-years of my training life, I have learned a lot about staying in the game. One of my biggest goals is to teach all of you, so that you can avoid the torn quads, protruding lumbar discs, fractured cervical vertebra, torn supraspinatus, and destroyed hips.

Deadlift

I wouldn’t change my life one bit other than the fact that I wish I had known a little better how to take care of my body. However, maybe God intended that I go through this to help all of you. If so, I am totally cool with that. There is nothing more joyful on earth than to help someone reach a goal or improve his or her life. I will take the beating to provide for all of you guys and gals.

Before I dive deeper into this article, let me be straight with you. There is no way on earth to completely prevent injuries. There are only methods to decrease the risks. I want all of you to know the methods to decrease the risk of injuries to yourself and/or athletes.

1. Consider the Sport- This one is easy, and uses a little bit of common sense. If you play football, it’s probably wise to protect the neck. If you play soccer, protect the neck and knees. If you do weightlifting, it’s wise to protect the back, shoulders, knees, and hips. It’s that easy. Look at what you’re doing and consider the things that you are doing on a daily basis.

If there is something repetitive like weightlifting, you will want to stabilize the joint that is being overworked. If your sport commonly has you making a collision or receiving a blow like football or MMA, then you have to protect the entire spine, neck, and head. It’s that simple.

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2. Quantify a Weakness and Attack It- There are a few ways to go about this process. Louie Simmons uses his accessory work to target weaknesses. For example he uses the belt squat to target and pinpoint hip weaknesses. He uses the Inverse Leg Curl to show hamstring weakness especially as they cross the knee. He uses the Reverse Hyper to show low back weakness and to strengthen that low back.

We use assistance movements as well to pinpoint weaknesses, but we also use a tool that’s in the “No Weaknesses” e-book. It’s a test of several movements and exercises compared against one another. “The Tool”, we’ll call it, will then spit out ratios letting the athletes know where they are weak, and where they are strong. Not only will it tell them where they are weak and strong, it will tell them a ratio to quantify the amount. This is also important when addressing the weaknesses. You will also be able to quantify the amount of improvement.

Obviously when you’ve targeted a weakness, you need to attack it. I recommend, spending 30-50% of your time on attacking the identified weaknesses. When you strengthen the weaknesses, your body will be more stable, more efficient, and more durable. It’s like aligning the tires of a car. The wear and tear on the body will be much less if everything is balanced and strong.

3. Understand the Kinetic Chain- It starts from the ground up. Your feet need to be stable. Your ankles need to be mobile. Your knees must be stable, hips mobile, lumber spine stable, thoracic spine mobile, and cervical spine stable. You get the picture. If the foot gets weak, then the ankles try to stabilize, causing the knees to get weak, and so on. This is why it’s a good idea to do some training barefoot. One thing that I can tell you that I like to do with most people are carries performed barefoot. We have turf outside, so it makes for a great place to perform this movement.

4. Get Your Recovery on Point- I preach this all the time, but I’m not sure that everyone gets it. Here’s the deal. If your sleeping sucks, so will you. If your nutrition sucks, so will you. People are all the time telling me that they train like a boss, but they don’t have time to sleep. That tells me that the person will receive moderate results. He or she can get better, but they are still selling themselves short.

If you don’t have a soft-tissue expert on your team, then you aren’t going to succeed. That’s it! Point blank! Dr. Gray from Gray CSA and Sports Associates was my go to expert on all aspects of my body. He traveled to my competitions with me. Heck we became so close that he was in my wedding. That’s the relationship that you are going to need with your practitioner as well.

5. Joint Distraction and Manipulation- If you have areas that are giving you problems with mobility and moderate pain, using a band to distract the joint will help with mobility. Personally I believe that athletes get carried away with this. I watch athletes walk into the gym and takes bands to every part of their body. They’re either OCD, or they need to go to the Emergency Room with all of those issues.

My hips are my trouble spot. I like to come in the gym, attach one end of the band to the power rack and one to my hip, and then do a series of mobility exercises to open the hip up. There are several exercises for the shoulders, ankles, and thoracic spine that will help with common aches and mobility issues.

We added all of our favorite exercises to the “No Weaknesses” E-Book. Teaching athletes to deal with the common aches and pains of training is a big part of coaching. I have news for all of you. If you are going to be an athlete, you are going to deal with some aches and pains. That’s part of practicing a sport day in and day out. I promise that it’s all worth it. In the long run dealing with a few aches and pains in training will lead to a lot less aches and pains the older you get.

I hope that this article helps all of you bulletproof your bodies, so that you can all crush your goals and dreams. Remember everyone does the big things like training hard in the gym. However, the champions do the little things to one-day end up on top. Whether you are into general fitness or you want to be the strongest man or woman on earth, this whole thing is a marathon not a sprint.

Guys and gals, if you want a tool that will help you along your fitness path, I would be honored if you checked out the brand new “No Weaknesses” E-Book. For more information, click on the link below:

The Mash Elite “No Weaknesses” E-Book

No_Weaknesses-01

No Weaknesses Approach

Check out the “Mash Squat Every Day” E-Book with 4 twelve week programs for weightlifting, powerlifting, super total, and bodybuilding. Find out more below:

>>>Mash Squat Every Day<<<

Remember on September 17th-18th we will be hosting the Mash Barbell Picnic” on the Farm. Weightlifting Day 1 and Powerlifting Day 2, but more importantly hanging out together the entire weekend. Check it out below:

The Mash Barbell Picnic

No Weaknesses

Watching the Olympics this year has been incredible. We have all been able to once again watch these athletes perform. We have all been wowed, shocked, and sometimes saddened. That’s why we watch.

As a coach that works with athletes in an Olympic sport, the march for 2020 has already begun. Coach Don McCauley and I talk daily about the things that need to happen for our athletes to make the next team. Yesterday he was tweaking the jerk techniques of two of our female athletes. He says that he wants to go ahead and make the changes, so that they will be prepared for 2020. I say amen to that.

As coaches we have to make sure that our athletes have “No Weaknesses”. That’s our job. We need to look at all the variables that we can affect, and then our job is to improve as many of those variables as possible. I am not talking just about programming and coaching technique. I am talking about all the mundane aspects of athletic performance.

This article isn’t just for Olympic weightlifting. I am talking about all sports. If you want to be great, you have to do the things that no one wants to do. If you are an athlete, I have some news for you. Everyone goes to practice and trains hard so don’t be bragging about that. All of my athletes train hard in the gym. However, what are you doing when no one is looking? That’s the question.

Let’s look at the variables that coaches can affect other than just programming and practice:

• Mobility
• Overall nutrition
• Body Fat
• Recovery
• Muscular balance
• Supplements
• Sports Psychology
• Joint manipulation to deal with aches and pains

These are just a few that I can think I want to touch on. A lot of variable will vary based on the sport, but all of these are pretty common amongst all sports. Optimal mobility is important in just about every sport on the planet. Notice that I said optimal mobility. That doesn’t mean to stretch everything for hours every day. Some sports require maximum mobility, and some sports like weightlifting require just the right amount. If a weightlifter is hypermobile, they could be at risk of injury due to joint instability.

Nutrition is an aspect of athletic performance that can be a real game changer. There is an optimal body fat percentage for all sports. The key is to find out that percentage, and then eat to optimize your own body composition. For all of you in strength sports, I have some news for you. Fat doesn’t move weight. Look at all the top powerlifters in the world, and you will see some ripped dudes. When I was competing, I was very lean. In weightlifting all you have to do is look at the Chinese. Those athletes are ripped and jacked. Fat has nothing to do with muscular contractions. It just sits there.

Deadlift

Nutrition is also important to overall recovery. If you are an athlete, you either need to understand macronutrient or find someone who does. It’s not just about losing body fat. It’s also about performance during training and competition. If you are a competitive CrossFitter, you are going to need carbs and lots of them. You need carbs for energy.

Recovery can be affected by nutrition, sleep, stress levels, and outside forces to deal with the stress on the body. The body treats working out the same as an infection. Isn’t that crazy? We break down tissue, and then the body sends a signal to repair the breakdown. The speed of those repairs as well as the efficiency of those repairs is what we call recovery. Besides sleep and nutrition, we use a team Physical Therapist, John Davidson, DPT to help our athletes recover and mend their aches and pains.

Muscular Balance is the new buzzword, but this time the buzzword is for real. If your athlete can reach and maintain muscular balance, they will have a better chance of optimal performance and a lower risk of injury. I am on my way to see Louie Simmons today, which I am very excited about. He has been preaching about muscular balance, since the 1990’s. Now people are talking about it like it’s a new idea. It’s not!

We developed a 24-point test that will help us pinpoint the weaknesses in our athletes. It will give us ratios that will help quantify muscular imbalances, give us ideas of what to target with accessory movements, and it will help us quantify improvement. We plan to use this as a major tool to help our athletes have a better chance of competing on the International stage.

We are coming out with a book that will have this test for all of you. The book will have way more than just the test. It will also tell you exactly what to do with each ratio. The book will also have several of the techniques that we use to keep our athletes recovered and moving properly.

The book is called “No Weaknesses”. I am the most excited about this product than any other things that I have ever created. It’s a tool that I wish I had when I was competing at my highest level. If you are interested in this book, join the newsletter. You will also get my Free book “The Big Six”, which give you several of my ideas to improve the snatch, clean, jerk, squat, bench, and deadlift. Here’s the link:

⇒Join the Mash Newsletter and receive the Free E-Book “The Big Six”

This article isn’t an infomercial, but I am pretty pumped about the book. Supplements are another way to maximize recovery and performance. They key is knowing which supplements to take. Dr. Gray, my longtime sport’s doctor, is going to do several tests on our athletes. One of which is to determine which vitamins and minerals that my athletes are deficient. Then we can pinpoint, which supplements to give them. That is the best way to optimize supplement use.

Sports Psychology is something that I have been curious about for many years. I have watched it affect the performance of several athletes that I have worked with over the last few years. Some athletes are born with the ability to perform well during competition, and some struggle with negative or irrational thoughts. A good sports psychologist can help program healthier game day habits and thought processes.

Every athlete that competes is going to experience aches and pains. Sports at an elite level aren’t the healthiest thing in the world. You are pushing your body to its limit. At the highest point the body is somewhere between awesome and crushed. It’s that fine line that all athletes must learn to balance.

A big key is knowing when you are just aching and when you are hurt. If you aren’t able to perform the movements of your sport or you are altering those movements, I recommend going to a professional. The key is finding someone that you trust. We are blessed to have Dr. John Davidson, and Dr. Gray to go to. You need to find someone as well.

In our book “No Weaknesses”, we have included all the ways that we have dealt with aches and pains in the various joints with all of our athletes. We have also included ways to stabilize those joints to prevent injuries. I think that you guys are going to love “No Weaknesses”. My goal is that it helps all of you reach your goals, stay injury free, and keeps you competing for many years to come.

Once again, if you want to know when the book comes out, click on the link below and also receive the Free E-Book “The Big Six”:

⇒Join the Mash Newsletter and receive the Free E-Book “The Big Six”

Top 5 Gym Mistakes by Corey Reich

Check out the “Mash Squat Every Day” E-Book with 4 twelve week programs for weightlifting, powerlifting, super total, and bodybuilding. Find out more below:

>>>Mash Squat Every Day<<<

Join Team Mash Mafia for weightlifting, powerlifting, athletic performance, bodybuilding, running, or a hybrid approach. This team is already taking over weightlifting, and I plan on taking over all of the other disciplines one at a time. Check it out below:

>>>Team Mash Mafia<<<

The Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic is coming to Orlando and Canada. To find out more, check out the link below:

Mash Mafia Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic

Top 5 Gym Mistakes

By:Corey Reich

Wanted to continue this top 5 series with the five mistakes I see people make in the gym all the time. We have all at one time or another seen some bad things being done in gyms. I wanted to cover the ones that I feel like are the most common. I hope that if you are making one of these mistakes that it will help you to learn how not to make that mistake anymore. If you are making one of these mistakes do not feel bad, we all have made mistakes in our life and we had to learn somehow. So let’s go ahead and get right into the top 5 with the mistake that I feel like is ranked 5th on this list.

The number 5 mistake that I see being made almost on a daily basis is people working out in their comfort zone. I don’t know how many times I see guys and girls come into the gym and talk throughout their entire workout. They do 10 reps of something so light that they almost forget how many they have even done. When they leave the gym it doesn’t even look like they have broken a sweat. Girls hair and makeup, still perfect, guys shirts, no sweat? I really am confused on the entire purpose of them even being at the gym. Now being honest, we don’t always have a crazy intense workout where we say “man that was the best workout ever”. But if more than half the time you go to the gym you don’t even push yourself to try and be better than you were before, then please ask yourself the question. What the heck am I even doing here in the first place? When you workout it’s about bettering yourself and your health not social hour. Now don’t get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with talking or having a good time while you workout but let’s be real here. There is a fine line between that and making the gym time your new hangout place to talk gossip. The funny thing is, some of these people are the first ones to complain when they don’t see any changes. Hmm I wonder why that is? So please guys and girls, you want results? Then go to the gym and work for them instead of talking about it.

Mistake number 4 that I see in the gym is people lifting/working out without a purpose or plan. These are the people that do one of two things. They either come to the gym and kind of just do whatever they feel like with no specific goal or reason in mind. Or even worse they literally do the same exercises every single day. They never change or sway to anything different than the same international chest day on monday. Now these people are more motivated than the ones that mistake number 5 but they still could be helping themselves out more. Lifting without a plan or reason is fine for beginners but if you have been going to the gym for a month or two then it’s time to get a plan together. Not only can changing things up or getting a plan make the gym more exciting again. It also shocks the body and will allow you to break through plateaus that you once had. I hear things like “I want to get stronger” yet I see them doing reps of 25. Or, “man I really wanna get a bigger chest” and then they do heavy bench press for 2 reps. There is a reason why I do every set and every rep. They are all thought out and they are done with a purpose, this is one of the reasons I have been able to be so successful in the gym. So make sure you are planned and prepared for your workouts if you really want to see some changes.

Mistake number 3 is one that can actually cause physical injury and that is not warming up properly. We have all seen it, the guy goes to the barbell bench and does one set of 135 and then jumps straight to trying to do 225 or 315. I just cringe when I see things like this in the gym. We only get one body in this life and it is important that we take the steps necessary to protect it. There is nothing wrong and in fact I recommend having a warm up routine before all of your workouts. Do not just jump straight into your working sets without warming up your joints and muscles. Now this will be different for everyone on how much they need to warm up but everyone does need to do something. Even if this is a walk on the treadmill for 5 to 10 minutes before you do legs or just a few sets of pushups before you do chest. Warming up properly will allow you to have a much more effective workout and prevent the risk of injury. This will insure that you will be able to make progress for many workouts to come instead of being set back by an injury.

Mistake number 2 almost makes me laugh when I see it and that is people who are always doing fancy exercises. I don’t know how many times I see people trying to find new ways to improperly use a machine to workout. There is no fancy exercise that will make you build a better body than what people have been doing for 100 years. This especially goes for the ones that haven’t even used the basic exercises yet to build a solid foundation. I remember seeing an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about this exact thing. They didn’t do all these fancy exercises back in the day when they built amazing physiques like Arnold, Serge, Frank, and countless others. Girls you want a better butt, then squat. Guys you want bigger shoulders then press some real weight. There is no booty blaster 1000 that will do you better than some old fashioned, put the bar on your back, and squat your butt to your calfs. Now I am all for trying new things but if you don’t have a real solid foundation first and the basics aren’t part of your staple. Then I seriously recommend going back to the drawing board on developing that plan. Stick to the basics first and master though’s before you try and put bands the wrong way on bench press.

Last and certainly not least, the number 1 mistake I see people making in the gym is EGO lifting with poor range of motion. You all know what I am talking about, those people that load up the bar with 405 and do about a half a squat. I am talking not even close to parallel, much less going deep. Or the person that tells me they bench 350 and they throw the shoulder saver on there or stop about 4 inches from their chest. How about the guy that military presses the 110 dumbbells and doesn’t even get his elbows to a 90 degree angle much less full range of motion. Not to mention the one that loads up the entire leg press machine with 45’s only to move it about 4 inches for 5 reps. I could go on and on with examples that would make even beginners laugh. The better the range of motion during any exercise the more muscle fibers that are recruited. This means that you will see a greater gain in muscle size and strength if you actually do the exercise correctly. I do not know why guys especially do this but they are not impressing anyone that has a clue and they are going to hurt themselves. If you can not control the bar all the way down to your chest and then press it back up, then it is to heavy for you. If you can not squat with proper form and get down to a minimum of parallel, then it is to heavy for you.

Alright y’all that is my top 5 mistakes that I see in the gym. I hope that this has been informative and maybe even a little funny for you. I hope that this has helped you in some way with either your workout routine or in helping out your buddy’s. Thanks for reading look out for the next article. Top 5 mistakes people make in their nutrition.

About the author:

Corey is a full-time personal trainer training clients from ages 15-years-old to 75-years-old. One of his clients is making a run at the NFL for the Patriots. He is the 2015 NPC North Carolina Physique Champion, and he owns “Carolina Physiques” coaching over 20 physique and bodybuilder competitors. Follow him on Instagram: @coreyreich or on his website www.reichfitness.com.

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Top 5 Go To Supplements by Corey Reich

Check out the “Mash Squat Every Day” E-Book with 4 twelve week programs for weightlifting, powerlifting, super total, and bodybuilding. Find out more below:

>>>Mash Squat Every Day<<<

Join Team Mash Mafia for weightlifting, powerlifting, athletic performance, bodybuilding, running, or a hybrid approach. This team is already taking over weightlifting, and I plan on taking over all of the other disciplines one at a time. Check it out below:

>>>Team Mash Mafia<<<

The Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic is coming to Orlando, Kentucky, and Canada. To find out more, check out the link below:

Mash Mafia Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic

Top 5 Go To Supplements
By Corey Reich (Drug Free North Carolina NPC Physique Champion and National Physique Competitor)
@coreyreich on Instagram

So everyone probably has tried some type of supplements to help perform in the gym or on the field. I am going to give you a look into my top 5 sups for any athlete, male or female. Before we get started I wanted to clarify that supplements do not do the work for you but they do give you that extra edge you may need to be at your best. All of these items can be purchased very easily at your local supplement store or even online. So let’s take a look into what exactly I consider to be in my top 5 and what each one of them does.

The number one sports supplement that I think should be in your supplement stack is a good whey protein. Everyone knows, or at least they should, that protein helps you build lean mass. The more lean mass a person has, the more metabolic they become, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day. This allows you to be able to eat more and make those gains in the gym you want to make without gaining excess body fat. Protein helps you stay full longer and can help in preventing unhealthy snacking. Whey protein can be taken at anytime of the day but I believe in taking it in at breakfast and post workout.These times for me are the most beneficial and convenient times. Whey protein comes in a variety of flavors so everyone can find something they like. Look for a protein low in carbs and fat with around 20 plus grams of protein per serving.

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The number two supplement that I believe should be in your stack is creatine. Taking around 5g of creatine a day can help to saturate your bodies storages. This will allow your body to produce ATP more efficiently and use it to help in short term burst of energy. Think things like lifting weights for reps or running a sprint. The easy way I like to explain it to people is imagine without creatine you can bench press 225 six times. Now imagine with creatine you can do it 8 to 10 times. It doesn’t sound like a lot but after doing 4 sets you have accumulated another 8 to 16 reps. So in the long run you will allow yourself to grow much stronger and bigger than you would without it. Creatine also helps you hold water in the muscle cell which is where you want it. Allowing muscles to look fuller and harder while performing more effectively than before.

Supplement number 3 is fish oil. Taking fish oil might not have all the sexy cool benefits like some of the other supplements on the list. It will however take care of your insides and help your body function properly. Lets face it, sometimes we don’t always eat the best and some of us may have issues with cholesterol. Fish oil helps to support good cholesterol levels (known as HDL) and bring down the bad ones (LDL). It also helps things like your brain, eyes, and heart and without those things most of us would probably struggle in the gym. Some studies have shown that it helps to boost mood and I think we can all say we like to be in a good mood! Taking around 1 to 3 grams per day seems to be the most recommended way of dosing fish oil. So make sure to add in fish oil to your daily regiment, heck take it even if you don’t workout!

Supplement number 4, in my opinion has got to be a BCAA formula. BCAA stands for branch chain amino acids. Specifically leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAA’s are the building blocks for protein synthesis. This means that BCAA’s help you to grow your muscles more efficiently. It also helps in the breakdown of muscle tissue, which is a big scare when you are dieting. No one wants to lose any muscle they have worked hard to gain so taking bcaa’s can help prevent that. Not only does it help grow muscle and stop the breakdown of muscle, it allows you to have more muscular endurance. This will allow you to be able to workout harder and longer than you would without it. The sweet spot seems to be taking 6 grams of bcaas per serving, and I prefer to drink it during my exercise. Even better is that on non workout days it is totally fine to drink it during the day to help support all those muscles you have got, you sexy beast you!

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The last supplement is called ZMA. This is a combination of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin b6. You take this about 30min before you go to bed to help with muscle recovery and sleep. I like to take a ZMA product that also has theanine in it to help aid in REM sleep. This is where you are in the deepest sleep and where majority of recovery is taking place. Everyone should know that working out hard is important but recovery is just as important. ZMA has shown to help support natural testosterone levels in men and women. Healthy testosterone levels means strength and strength means gains. I hope you have all enjoyed my top 5 supplements but remember you have to do the work to see the results. Thanks for reading everyone catch you next time!

Don’t forget about the Mash Elite Weightlifting Team Camp:

We are hosting a three-day camp July 8-10 at the Mash Compound. It’s going to look like this:

• Day 1 Max Out Friday with the team and social afterwards
• Day 2 Clinic with Coach McCauley, Coach Wilkes, me and the team
• Day 3 Clinic about meet day prep and strategy, and then a sanctioned meet

We’ve decided to limit the camp to only 20 people, so don’t wait if you’re interested. Here’s the link to find out more:

<<<3 Day Mash Camp>>>

Bodybuilding yes or no? By Corey Reich

Check out the “Mash Squat Every Day” E-Book with 4 twelve week programs for weightlifting, powerlifting, super total, and bodybuilding. Find out more below:

>>>Mash Squat Every Day<<<

Join Team Mash Mafia for weightlifting, powerlifting, athletic performance, bodybuilding, running, or a hybrid approach. This team is already taking over weightlifting, and I plan on taking over all of the other disciplines one at a time. Check it out below:

>>>Team Mash Mafia<<<

The Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic is coming to Orlando, Kentucky, and Canada. To find out more, check out the link below:

Mash Mafia Squat Every Day Learn 2 Lift Clinic

Bodybuilding yes or no? By Corey Reich

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Just like any other sport some people will be great bodybuilders, some will be just good, and some should never start. Now when I say bodybuilder I am referring to anyone that wants to compete in the sport, anywhere from females competing in bikini all the way through guys competing in the heavyweight BB class or anything in between. There are those of us that are blessed with height, I however am not one of those, some blessed with speed, strength, blonde hair, blue eyes. Things that you are genetically blessed or not blessed with can determine whether or not bodybuilding is for you. It sounds kind of harsh but so is the sport itself, that no matter what you may do you will never be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. Genetics being a big factor in your overall success is still not the only factor. Things like will power, drive, and heart need to be there as well or you should never even attempt the sport. Now this is not intended to sound like bodybuilding is the hardest sport in the world to be great at. Each sport carries its own set of challenges and not everyone can be great at all of them. Yes, no matter how much I practice or what I may try to improve on at 5’7 around 170 pounds I’m not going to be the next Michael Jordan. So let’s discuss the factors that may help you decide whether or not you should take the leap into the sport of bodybuilding.

Factor number 1, do you have the drive and determination to sacrifice time with friends and family? Can you not eat carbs for 3­4 days in a row and still train with maximal intensity? Can you do an hour of cardio at 430 in the morning before work? If it comes down to it are you willing to be so selfish that you don’t go out to eat for your best friend’s birthday or maybe just pack your own tilapia and asparagus? If these questions scare you or sound crazy then you haven’t even began to scratch the surface of what all it takes to be a great bodybuilder. The difficult and sad truth is that anyone that has competed before has done these things. I remember when I went with all my friends and family to a wing place for my brothers birthday. I watched them all devour burgers, fries, wings, and beer. All the while sitting there with my cold tilapia and asparagus in a tupperware container. It was low carb day for me and I was 10 days out from a show. It’s a difficult thing to slowly starve yourself those last few weeks. Make no mistake about it, if you are dieting correctly for a show, you are definitely in a slow starvation state at the end. Hey, no one said that this sport was exactly healthy, especially at the end when trying to reach dangerously low body fat percentages. Did I mention that most of the time this last for 12­14 weeks and sometimes longer depending on the person. Sounds fun doesn’t it? So if you answered yes to all of these questions and you are willing to do these things to be great we can now move on to factor two.

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Do you have the proper genetics to be great? Yes unfortunately you may be willing to do the things above to be a great bodybuilder but God did not build you that way. Do you have a small waist? I am not talking about just being skinny, I am talking about being stripped down to a skeleton, how wide are your hip bones? Having a small waist is very important because it gives the illusion of being even bigger across the shoulders. So if you have that small waist now we need to check and see if you have long or short collar bones. Can your frame even support enough width to make you appear twice as wide as your waist? Ok great, so you have a tiny waist and wide shoulders, but how well do your muscle insertions and muscle bellies make you
look? So you have short lats and now your v­taper is totally thrown off no matter how many pull ups or rows you do? And not to mention you just naturally have long stringy looking muscle instead of nice and full round muscle bellies. So you see, unfortunately no matter how determined you are, it just may not be in your God given ability to be a great bodybuilder. Once again it sounds unfair but as we all know life isn’t fair and we have to do the best we can with what God gave us. So now that you are determined and you are also a genetically blessed freak, let’s move on to factor 3.

You don’t have the money to compete or can not afford any of the supplements that always seem to be a part of bodybuilding. Now I am talking legal supplements such as protein powders or creatine. As we all know in any professional sport there seems to be illegal drugs but that is not something that I myself participate in or support. Let’s do a run down of the average dollar amount it takes one of my competitors that I train for competitions has to pay for. The entry fee for the show itself can run anywhere from 75­$500 depending on the level of the show. The membership card for the organization for the year is $125. On average my female clients spend $200 on a suit and tanning cost around $110. So just to compete in the first show of the year it cost over $600. This is not including the $150 hotel cost or any of the cost to pay me to train/coach them. None of the cost of food or supplements is included because those are per person based and vary widely. So as you can see you may be blessed genetically, have the heart of a lion, but the funds just aren’t there for you. Believe me I totally understand it’s expensive and sometimes I wonder what else I could be doing with the saved money. However I do love what I do and if you do too you will find a way to make it happen.

So this article may seem like all doom and gloom but actually that is not the case. This was just to help you decide whether or not you have what it takes to be a great bodybuilder. You may not have that in your future but everyone can get in great shape and have muscles. You can be healthy, lean and strong no matter what genetics you have or the amount of money in your pocket. You will need determination and consistency to reach your goals of looking great. If competing in a show is just a goal of yours, then by all means I say go for it. Now if you have aspirations of being a pro or someone on a magazine cover, I suggest you take this article to heart. Being a great bodybuilder is not what is important in life anyway. What is really important and should be number 1 on your list, is taking care of your body and motivating/helping others to do the same.

Corey is the 2015 NC State NPC Physique Champion. He is now a Nationally Ranked physique athlete, and he does it all drug free. That is why he fit the culture at Mash Elite Performance. I am proud to sponsor this amazing physique athlete. Go follow him on Instagram at: @coreyreich

Don’t forget about the Mash Elite Weightlifting Team Camp:

We are hosting a three-day camp July 8-10 at the Mash Compound. It’s going to look like this:

• Day 1 Max Out Friday with the team and social afterwards
• Day 2 Clinic with Coach McCauley, Coach Wilkes, me and the team
• Day 3 Clinic about meet day prep and strategy, and then a sanctioned meet

We’ve decided to limit the camp to only 20 people, so don’t wait if you’re interested. Here’s the link to find out more:

<<<3 Day Mash Camp>>>